When Hurricane Ian hit Central Florida last fall, Milly Santiago already knew what it was like to lose everything to a hurricane, to leave your home, to start over.
For her, that was the outcome of Hurricane Maria, which struck her native Puerto Rico in September 2017, killing thousands of residents and leaving the main island without power for nearly a year.
So in September 2022, nearly five years to the day when Maria tossed her life apart, Santiago was in suburban Orlando, visiting a friend. As torrents of heavy rain battered the roof of her friend’s home, and muddy waters flooded the streets, she realized they were trapped.
And that her life was going to change, again.
“It created such a brutal anxiety in me that I don’t even know how to explain,” she said in Spanish.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Santiago was one of more than 100,000 Puerto Ricans who left Puerto Rico and relocated to places like Florida, seek... Read more